Mark Bittman: the man is pure genius! It’s well documented on this blog that I love him. How to Cook Everything is a well used book in our kitchen. He’s just spot on. From blondies galore to arepas to spicy corn salsa, the man hits the nail on the head every single time. His 101 simple salads was a massive winner last year, and is such a great go-to every time you don’t fancy cooking in the heat.
But may I say, if you own a grill then this article takes things to a whole new level. Oftentimes I am just too hot and bothered for a “proper” meal in the summer and in those instances, salads are where it’s at. But a lot of the time, I’m hungry as hell…I just can’t face the kitchen. I know you all empathize, dontcha?
That’s why 101 fast recipes for grilling is the best thing since sliced bread. Note the word “fast” which gives me warm fuzzies. I don’t know about you but I seem to have less time for cooking in the summer. In the winter, I have all the time in the world to cook the night away with a glass of red wine in hand and a movie in my near future. But summer. Pah! Summer is for going straight from work to happy hour. It’s for long bike rides into the late night light. It’s for going on a run at 8pm because you can. Annnnd, it’s enjoying something delicious to eat, without pawing over it and spending hours preparing. Fast. I like that word.
As you might know if you’ve been reading this little blogette recently, I am a big fan of grilling and of trying out new things on the grill, so this article genuinely did get me as excited as I seem. The recent weeks have seen me have my first grilling session of the season, grill some top notch steaks, along with gourmet sandwiches, and coconut lime chicken. That’s before we even get into last November’s (!) striped sea bass or last summer’s incredible turkey burgers and mouth watering vanilla-mascarpone peaches.
My oh my. Yes, I like to grill.
So. In honour of it being July 4th this weekend and grills across the nation coming out of hiding, check out 101 fast recipes for grilling and tell me what you’d be excited to make. Here are my top five:
1. Grill pineapple (or anything, really, from pork to tofu to eggplant). Make a sauce of half-cup peanut butter, a tablespoon (or more) soy sauce, a dash (or more) sriracha chili sauce, a handful of basil or mint and enough warm water to thin. (I’m tempted to say, “Throw away the pineapple and eat the sauce,” but the combination is sensational.)
2. Six-minute steak (or maybe four): Salt skirt steak and grill it, quickly. Top with queso fresco, thinly sliced red onion (you could grill it first, if you like) and the juice of grilled lime.
3. Shrimp and chorizo kebabs. Serve with lemon or a little vinaigrette.
4. Bread salad on a stick: Cubes of bread, black olives and cherry tomatoes. Don’t grill too long, and drizzle with basil or thyme or parsley vinaigrette.
5. Cut bananas into thick rounds (like scallops almost), char quickly and serve with caramel sauce, brown sugar, vanilla ice cream, Nutella … whatever.
Oh and happy July!